AU Optronics Deserves $1 Billion Fine, U.S. Tells Court

AU Optronics Corp. (2409), Taiwan’s second-largest maker of liquid-crystal displays used in big and little video screens, should be fined $1 billion for price fixing, federal antitrust authorities said in court papers.

U.S. attorneys prosecuting the criminal case in San Francisco also recommended yesterday that AUO Vice Chairman H.B. Chen and former Executive Vice President Hui Hsiung pay $1 million in fines and serve 10 years in jail.

“Only these sentences could possibly reflect the seriousness of this offense or provide adequate deterrence,” and they’re “lenient,” regional Assistant Chief U.S. Attorney Peter K. Huston wrote.

The government charged AUO in 2009, and a jury in March found the company and two executives guilty of colluding with rivals to fix prices though secret meetings in hotel rooms, karaoke bars and tea rooms.

AUO Officials weren’t immediately available after business hours in Hsinchu, Taiwan, to comment on the recommendations.

The case is U.S. v. Lin, 3:09-cr-00110, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California (San Francisco).

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Milford at pmilford@bloomberg.net.

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Hytha at mhytha@bloomberg.net.

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